Meet the Artist- Alisa Marie
Surviving by Designing, by Alisa Marie.
A series of life-changing events and traumas planted the seeds for Alisa's True Colors. In 2012, I sustained two devastating concussions back to back from falls. While suffering from this injury, I was going through a divorce, my house was in foreclosure, and I had to forcibly commit my child to a hospital to keep her from hurting herself. Much of what happened was lost to me, as the brain injury wasn't diagnosed until the following fall of 2013. Memory loss and depression were becoming a way of life.
I began my artistic journey after being shown by my younger daughter Emily in 2013 how to apply Crayola crayons to the canvas with a Conair Beauty hairdryer and a fork. Concussions, neurotoxicity, chronic illnesses, and a lifetime of pain has brought intense expression from my struggles which have shown me my True Colors on the canvas.
My art tells a story of a woman that has been in the depths of hell and is a Survivor. In October of 2013, I started to attend the Krempels Center in Portsmouth NH in their Brain Injury Community Adult Day Program. Attending there I participated in the art classes on Wednesday and my creative expression was brought out. Evolution of my work has grown with each setback as my inner voice screams beauty during these storms.
Through Darkness came light, through fear came love and through pain and suffering came Triumph. Everything that I went through, every struggle, every life lesson was a gift because it made me go deeper in myself to find who I really was, to find my true colors, to find my inner strength.
I want others to see and know there is beauty in the darkness, there is beauty in your pain and tears and heartache. There is beauty in the ashes. There is a rainbow after the storms. I hope people see my True Colors as a message of hope and faith and love, to give them the hope and courage and strength to show it is possible to overcome the battles we endure in this lifetime.
I never went to art school I have no degree, just education from repeated concussions and my life situations. My art saved my life and is continuing to do. It helps with built up resentment and emotions, and grief and physical pain. It teaches you are a new person after your injury, and how to adapt to your new life. Art is my therapy where I take the physical and emotional pain I feel, and I turn it into something beautiful and bright on the canvas.
Because of my brain injury I have no limitations on my creativity, or limits in the art world I just know that I want to leave a legacy behind with my art and my life story of hope and strength and inspiration and what it means to be truly a survivor in so many ways.
We all are creative, you just must keep trying new things, whether it be writing, poetry, drawing, photographer, ceramics, embroidery, knitting, singing dancing, there is so much you can do, you are not your disability or a dx a doctor gives you. Just because we can't work doesn’t mean we can’t be creative with art. I never gave up hope and kept learning and reaching for my dreams when all I saw was darkness.
You find your own "True Colors" with a brain injury or from a trauma where it can get very confusing when you are trying to find your true self and unfortunately the sad truth is sometimes you see your loved ones "True Colors". We can look fine on the outside, but they can’t see our brain on the inside all messed up trying to find a new way of living. Time to break the stigma of having an invisible illness and a disability for ourselves, and only then can we break it for others.
I hope to be successful one day and be able to support myself, that is my dream. And to also donate money to the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire, and other Non profits Organizations. I had to lose everything from suffering Traumatic Brain Injuries due to repeated head injuries. Than in the year 2016 losing my home and all my personal belongings from Neurotoxicity. I'm still surviving by designing.
My paintings were used as projected backdrops for the March 2017 play 'The Learning Man Project' by Alan Wilbar , a play about brain injury and recovery at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord NH. I designed the 'True Colors Survivor Art Gallery' and was able to orchestrate, arrange, and install art from disabled artists worldwide in the lobby we recognized and validated the brain injury and disabled community for what they can do not what they are.
On October 15, 2017, Alisa's True Colors were debuted at Sole City Dance in Somersworth NH, and also in October 2017 Most of my original paintings were installed at the Inner Balance Pelvic Health & Wellness Center in Newington to give hope and inspiration to other women. Also in November my paintings and products were displayed at the at the Concussion Symposium at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover NH.
In February 2018, my mom Stephanie told me that they found a tumor in her breast. This is when I realized my paintings had a purpose and pink was the color for breast cancer awareness and everything else just all melted together.
In May of 2018, I registered as a small business with the State of NH and Alisa's True Colors was born. Also I have designed my own website with help from my friend Toni Love and lots of You tube videos as I am a visual learner.
On September 29, 2018, I had my Premier Survivor Awareness Fashion Show "Bringing Awareness and Education to others about the invisible battle scars we carry, at The Strand in Dover NH showcasing all my different fashion accessories and all the collections for different causes I am passionate about.
I am a member artist of The Art Center in Dover, New Hampshire and have participated in a few art shows there. Also, I have been part of the Dover Art Walk since 2017, you can visit me in the Washington Street Mill or in the Cocheco Courtyard on the first Friday of every month.
I have been a guest on Brain Injury Radio Network since 2017. My most recent interview was June 29th with Mess With MS: Brain Injury Radio Network - Lisa Dryer.
You can purchase some of my jewelry and fashion accessories here in Dover NH at Nicole's Hallmark, Earth Harmony Wellness , Lilith Grace Gifts , Eclectic Traders , A Freethinker's Corner . And in Somersworth NH at Seacoast Crafters.
My dream is to sell them worldwide and write my own book called Unf***ingbelivable The True Story of Alisa Marie.
Thank you for your support